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AstraZeneca’s Pipeline Primed for Growth

Jan. 15, 2014

AstraZeneca (AZ) and market analysts are in agreement that the British drugmaker’s current pipeline primes it for continued growth in the coming years, particularly in regard to biologics.

This sunny outlook is based on progress in AZ’s core areas of oncology, cardiovascular and respiratory, inflammation and autoimmune diseases; the drugmaker has as many as 10 drugs likely to see marketing approval in the next five years, predicts Leerink Swann analyst Seamus Fernandez.

AZ’s pipeline currently contains 11 Phase III programs, among which are the diabetes drug metreleptin and the chemotherapeutic agent olaparib. An FDA advisory panel voted in December that the benefits of metreleptin exceed the risks for adults and children with generalized lipodystrophy. It has a PDUFA date of Feb. 24.

Concurrently, Fernandez upgraded his market rating for AZ based on predictions the drugmaker will transition from a developer of small molecule drugs to that of biologics, such as metreleptin and olaparib.

“With key data poised to report in 1H14 on [AZ’s] benralizumab, an IL5 receptor antibody currently in Phase III, and a potential Phase III start for tralokinumab, [AZ’s] anti-IL-13, we expect that investors will quickly grow to appreciate AZN’s leadership position in this area and we forecast sales of $1.8B in 2026,” Fernandez said. — Lena Freund

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